When Do I Need An Oil Change Service?

car oil change

Oil change service is one of the most critical maintenance services you can provide to your vehicle. The overall health of your vehicle is greatly improved when you keep up with a regular service routine, and the oil change service is the heart of maintenance. The engine in your car needs oil to stay lubricated and within operational temperatures. To summarize, keeping the oil fresh and clean helps the engine perform its job efficiently. 

At Martin Tire Company, our crew helps you with your oil change service needs and keeps your engine in good condition. You need to know when your vehicle needs an oil change. To ease your task, our team of mechanical experts has created this resource to help you determine when to make an appointment for an oil change.

The Purpose of Engine Oil 

Oil serves multiple purposes in a vehicle. First, by providing lubrication to the moving engine components, the oil helps prevent friction and damage. Each element of your engine benefits fromsynthetic oil splashing lubrication and aids in its smooth transition. Without oil to protect the engine components, the moving parts scrape and bang against each other, causing severe damage to the engine. 

Second, the purpose of engine oil is to keep the engine clean and free from debris. As your engine runs at ultra-high temperatures, it creates buildup and debris. This waste can clog up the engine and prevent it from operating correctly. As the engine oil runs through the engine, it collects the engine deposits and runs them through the oil filter. By removing the excess debris and filtering it out, engine oil helps your engine operate correctly—free of waste. 

Third, engine oil helps prevent rust and corrosion. Your engine is a powerful machine that produces a hefty amount of corrosive waste, leading to corrosion. As time passes, this corrosion can damage your engine, requiring costly repair. The oil acts as a preservative to protect your engine from corrosive buildup and damaging waste. 

Fourth, engine oil prevents your engine from overheating. Clean oil flows through the engine, reducing the friction that can cause your engine to overheat. While cooling is not a primary function of engine oil, it has beneficial side effects. 

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Why Oil Goes Bad

Like all things in your car, engine oil is not meant to last forever. As engine oil collects engine gunk and the filter prevents it from cycling through the engine, it becomes saturated and less effective. Once the oil filter is at its limit, the oil starts to cycle more and more waste through the engine, which causes the engine to run less efficiently. 

The oil breakdown process is entirely normal for any vehicle. Over time, the oil becomes less effective and degrades naturally. This happens not just because of the excess dirt and debris in the oil, but also because of the age of the oil. Engine oil has a limited shelf life. So, even if you drive less than the recommended 3,000 to 5,000 miles, you should have an oil change at least every six months. 

How to Know If You Need an Oil Change Service

neon oil change sign

There are many signs that it’s time for an oil change. While your dashboard may likely indicate when your oil gets low or old, it can be unhealthy for your car to wait until that point. The best way to keep track of when you need an oil change service is to routinely get maintenance on your vehicle. At Martin Tire Company, we recommend an oil change after driving every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. The exact timeframe can vary slightly by the make and model of your vehicle and the type of oil you use. 

If you do not know when your last oil change was, our crew can help you determine if you need one. You may notice certain symptoms when your car or truck requires new oil. When the oil in your engine gets old and filled with engine waste, it will cause your vehicle to run inefficiently and can cause several of the signs mentioned below:

Foul odors: 

A nasty smell is rarely a good sign with your car or truck. If your engine oil is old and ineffective, it can lead to burning and chemical smells while running the engine. The excess debris and heat cycling cause these smells through your engine. If you smell a nasty odor coming from your engine, your oil may be burning rather than functioning correctly. 

Clanking or thudding noises: 

If your oil has expired, it will not be effective at lubricating the parts of your engine. As the engine runs without lubrication, the engine components may bang against each other and cause clanging, thudding, knocking, or banging sounds. While hearing these noises can be frightening, the consequences may be even more severe.

Each time your engine parts knock into each other, they leave a mark or impact the engine negatively. Your engine parts are not meant to take the brute force of scraping or banging into themselves and can be damaged each time they move if not properly lubricated. That’s one reason you’ll need an oil change service as soon as possible once you hear clunking noise from the engine. 

Poor acceleration: 

Your car is designed to be a well-oiled machine. The engine needs to have adequate lubrication and working oil to perform optimally. If the oil is gunky or old, the engine will not be able to operate at its full capacity, which could lead to poor performance. 

Loud revving sounds: 

If your engine is not getting the care it needs, it will have to work extra hard to power your car. This overexertion can be marked by an audible whirring or loud revving while operating your vehicle. As with knocking sounds, loud revving is not to be taken lightly. As soon as your car starts making such noises, you know it’s time for an oil change. 

Black smoke: 

Once your engine oil becomes saturated, it is susceptible to high temperatures in your engine. With the combination of friction, dirty oil, and high temperature, your oil can physically start to burn. When this happens, it will produce thick, dark smoke from your engine block. If this happens, it is important to stop driving your vehicle as soon as possible. If you are near one of our locations, you can visit us to get your problem fixed. 

Dirty oil on the dipstick: 

Clean oil is an effective oil. If you pull out the dipstick and see that the oil is dark and gunky, it is likely about time to have an oil change service performed. If the only symptom you notice in your vehicle is dirty oil, that’s good news. While you may need an oil change soon, it’s possible that you may not see any red flags immediately. 

Schedule your Oil Change Service with the Experts

Whether it’s time for your regular oil change service or you are noticing some of the signs mentioned above, Martin Tire Company has you covered. Our expert mechanics can change your oil and get you back on the road in no time. 

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